Tristan Dannreuther

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Captain Tristan Dannreuther (9 September, 1872 – 10 May, 1963) was an officer of the Royal Navy. His younger brother was Hubert Edward Dannreuther, senior surviving officer of the destruction of the battlecruiser H.M.S. Invincible.

Life & Career

Tristan Dannreuther was born in Holland Park on 9 September, 1872, the eldest son of Edward Dannreuther, a Professor of Music, and Chariclea Anthea Euterpe Ionides. Dannreuther entered the training ship Britannia at Dartmouth as a Naval Cadet on 15 July, 1885. He left after the customary two years' instruction in July, 1887. He was appointed to corvette Garnet on the East Indies Station on 23 August. He was rated Midshipman on 15 November, having passed with a second class certificate in the examination for that rank. Garnet paid off on 31 October, 1890, and he was appointed to the Duke of Wellington at Portsmouth on full pay leave. On 27 January, 1891, he was appointed to the masted turret ship Inflexible on the Mediterranean Station. He obtained a second class certificate in seamanship on 14 November, and was promoted to the rank of Acting Sub-Lieutenant on that date. He returned to Britain and on 11 January, 1892, started study at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich for the examinations for the rank of Lieutenant. He was lent to the cruiser Iris from 21 July to 20 August for the annual manœuvres.

At the College he obtained a second class in College, Part I, a first in Torpedo, a second in gunnery, and a second in pilotage. On 1 March, 1893 he was appointed to the Neptune for the Foxhound, for navigating duties, and was reappointed on his promotion to Lieutenant on 31 December. On 1 September, 1894, he was appointed to the Melita in the Mediterranean for navigating duties. He was superseded in January, 1897, and in March applied for a compass course at the Royal Naval College, and on 30 March passed in pilotage for first class ships with a first class certificate. He was appointed navigating officer of the Leander on the Pacific Station on 8 June. She was paid off on 15 January, 1901.

During the customary foreign service full pay leave Dannreuther went on a 3 week voluntary course at the National Physical Laboratory and obtained a diploma from the Geographical Society for practical astronomy and land surveying. He was appointed to the Ariadne in Home waters on 25 April, 1901, for navigating duties, and on 15 November was appointed navigating officer of the Hood in the Mediterranean. He remained in her until 14 June, 1902, when he was invalided with Mediterranean Fever.

From 24 October, 1902, to 1 June, 1903, Dannreuther underwent a war course at the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, and was asked to remain briefly to assist the Captain of the College, Henry J. May, in setting up a course for flag officers. On 6 June he was appointed to the Leviathan for navigating duties, and from 16 June as First Lieutenant and Navigating Officer. He incurred Their Lordships' "severe displeasure for gross neglect of duty" for grounding Leviathan. He was to be superseded in his appointment as a result when the ship relieved Bacchante.[1]

This relief may have occurred on 25 January, 1905, as Dannreuther was appointed as navigating officer in the Bacchante, which paid off on 22 February and reduced to nucleus crew on the following day. She paid off again on 14 August. On 5 September he was appointed navigating officer of the Roxburgh, until superseded on 12 December.


Dannreuther was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1905. On 12 February, 1906, he was appointed to the Vindictive, where he remained until 6 November, when he was appointed to the Aboukir, from which he was appointed to the Leviathan, where he stayed until 2 April, 1907, on which date he was appointed to the Amphitrite. On 12 November he was appointed to the Kent on the China Station. Kent paid off on 13 December, 1909.

After the usual full paid leave he went on a gunnery course from 28 February to 25 March, 1910, and on 2 August was appointed to Albion for Canopus. On 17 January, 1911, he was appointed to the Intrepid, in which he served as second-in-command for two years, being superseded on 17 January, 1913. From 3 March to June he underwent a course at the Royal Naval War College, obtaining a first class, and on 1 October was appointed to the Army Staff College at Camberley, where he remained until his appointment, on 9 February, 1914, to Majestic for Mars in the Third Fleet at Devonport.

Great War

Mars paid off on 20 February, 1915. On 4 May Dannreuther appointed to the armed merchant cruiser Kinfauns Castle. He was given the command of the armed merchant cruiser Patuca on 19 August of that year, and the rank of Acting Captain on 26 September, 1916. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1918. During his command of Patuca the ship had served with the Tenth Cruiser Squadron on the Northern Patrol and the Ninth Cruiser Squadron in the Mid-Atlantic.


He was appointed an Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence on 7 April, 1919, being succeeded by Captain Edward O. Cochrane on 15 July, 1921. He was placed on the Retired List, at his own request, on 9 September, 1922, under the terms of A.F.O. 1358/23. He had been informed by the Naval Secretary that he was going to be retired whatever happened.

He died at St. Leonards-on-Sea on 10 May, 1963, aged 90.


  • Dannreuther, Tristan (February, 1931). “Slave Cruising Off Zanzibar and Pemba, 1887–1890—1892”. The Naval Review. Vol. XIX. No. 1. 45-68.
  • Dannreuther, Tristan (February, 1939). “Yarns about Stores”. The Naval Review. Vol. XXVII. No. 1. 62-73.
  • Dannreuther, Tristan (October, 1961). “Musings of an Octogenarian”. The Naval Review. Vol. XLIX. No. 4. 379-382.
  • Dannreuther, Tristan (January, 1962). “Musings of an Octogenarian-II”. The Naval Review. Vol. L No. 1. 82-91.


Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Francis G. St. John
Captain of H.M.S. Canopus
2 Aug, 1910 – 17 Jan, 1911[2]
Succeeded by
James W. G. Innes
Preceded by
Norman L. Stanley
Captain of H.M.S. Intrepid
17 Jan, 1911[3]
Succeeded by
Harry H. Smyth
Preceded by
Henry W. Osburn
Captain of H.M.S. Mars
9 Feb, 1914[4][5] – 20 Feb, 1915[6]
Succeeded by
Richard M. Harbord
Preceded by
Denis B. Crampton
Captain of H.M.S. Kinfauns Castle
4 May, 1915 – 19 Aug, 1915
Succeeded by
Maurice D. Evans
Preceded by
Percy G. Brown
Captain of H.M.S. Patuca
19 Aug, 1915[7] – 30 Jun, 1918[8]
Succeeded by


  1. Dannreuther Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/245. f. 270.
  2. Dannreuther Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/245. f. 270.
  3. The Navy List. (August, 1912). p. 333.
  4. Dannreuther Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/245. f. 270.
  5. The Navy List. (July, 1914). p. 345.
  6. Dannreuther Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/245. f. 270.
  7. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 401w.
  8. Dannreuther Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/245. f. 270.